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Thursday, July 17, 2014

50 Words For Kate: #41 - Special

The first two years of Kate Bush's career are remarkable by any measure: a number one debut single, two top-ten albums, a critically-acclaimed live tour, Kate had come from nowhere to become a household name. In light of these achievements, the BBC decided that Kate merited her own TV special: a rare honour.

Simply entitled Kate, the 45-minute show was broadcast on 28 December 1979. It featured a number of previously unheard songs, hinting that work was already underway on the third album. Among the new tracks was a real curiosity, a waltz that told the tale of a cheating wife and a cuckolded husband. Kate played the husband, naturally, and the routine of The Ran Tan featured Gary Hurst as the world's largest baby, and Stewart Avon Arnold giving some serious face as the wife. The choreography was truly stunning.

Kate's special guest on the show was ex-Genesis front man, Peter Gabriel, who had released two highly creative solo albums. His third, released the following year, would feature Kate on backing vocals on two tracks, Games Without Frontiers and No Self Control. Working with Gabriel would prove to be highly inspirational to Kate, not least through the discovery of the Fairlight synthesiser. But more on that soon. As well as performing Here Comes The Flood, Gabriel duetted with Kate on a Roy Harper song, Another Day. It is considered by many fans to be a classic. Although it is rumoured a studio recording of the song was made, it has yet to see the light of day.

Another highlight was a dramatic tale of love, murder and revenge. The Wedding List finds Kate at the altar, only for her groom to be shot dead in front of her. Who was that mystery man? Do you think she'd ever let him get away with it? Hell no! She'll put him on the wedding list...

Kate was a wonderful way to round off Kate's first two years. It underlined her success, showed how much she had grown as a performer and singer, and signaled that she was moving in an exciting and decidedly experimental direction with her music. What would 1980 bring?

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